Fahma, a subsidiary of RMV (the Rhine/Main Regional Transport Association), has placed an order with the French manufacturer Alstom (www.alstom.com
) for 27 Coradia iLint fuel-cell trains.
The order includes the supply of hydrogen, maintenance and the provision of “reserve capacities” for the next 25 years.
In total, the order is worth about 500 million euros.
Germany’s Transport Secretary, Enak Ferlemann, said: “The purchase of 27 vehicles is a ‘lighthouse project’ for fuel-cell mobility.
“The federal government is supporting this investment in climate-friendly mobility by assuming responsibility for 40% of the additional vehicle costs incurred in comparison to diesel vehicles, as well as by providing proportional support for the hydrogen filling station.”
Tarek Al-Wazir, Minister of Transport for Hesse, said: “You can still find many diesel vehicles on Hesse’s tracks today, as overhead electric lines have not been installed, making fuel cell traction a quick and feasible alternative to electrification.
“In Hesse, transport is responsible for one third of greenhouse gas emissions, so steam instead of diesel soot is therefore an exciting approach.”
RMV managing director Knut Ringat said: “This award sets two records: with the commissioning of the new vehicles in 2022, RMV will have the world’s largest fleet of fuel-cell trains in passenger transport — and it is the largest order in the history of our subsidiary Fahma.
“With electrically powered trains, electric buses and hydrogen buses, we are now offering our passengers a further opportunity to travel without emissions.”
The Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell; this produces electrical power for traction and is locally emission-free, as it only emits steam and water into the environment.
The world’s first two hydrogen trains have already been in regular passenger service in the Elbe-Weser network in Lower Saxony since September 2018.